Instagram is not new to the world of copying Snapchat’s core features, and it has even turned into a leader in the ephemeral messaging segment with over 300 million monthly active users. Now, the Facebook-owned platform is set to copy another element of Snapchat that has been successful for the young messaging startup.
The photo-sharing platform has confirmed to TechCrunch that it is testing a new feature called ‘Nametags’, which sound like Snapcodes rip-offs. The feature lets Instagram users create a custom tag using emoji patterns for future sharing. The feature will work simply by Instagram users pointing their phone camera at a Nametag to add someone without typing their name or waiting for a request.
The report notes that there is no confirmation yet whether it will be widely available. However, the feature seems to be ready and might even start shipping as part of next major update. The feature was spotted in testing by an Instagram user named Genady Okrain, who has shared screenshots, and more details on how the feature will work on mobile application.
The motive behind Nametags would be to make it easier for people to visually promote their Instagram accounts. This is one of the key features of Snapchat where users have their Snapcodes shared on platforms like Twitter. The idea is to make it easier for users across social media platforms to follow your account on Instagram.
Once the feature starts rolling out, Instagram users will be able to hit a QR scanner button on top of their profile to bring up the Nametag editor. They can then choose from a purple Instagram color background, and a pattern of one emoji they choose or a selfie using augmented reality face filters to finalize an emoji pattern. The Instagram username then appears in the center. Those who have received the test feature can’t share or scan Nametags.
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For Snapchat, Snapcodes launched in January 2015, and remains one of the major features of the platform. It also acts as one of the reasons behind its cultural popularity. Snapcodes have been used dominantly by celebrities and drives engagement on the platform. Instagram has unashamedly copied Snapchat’s features, and it is little wonder that it is now going after Snapcodes. But the bigger question is, can it enact the same functionality?